941
Line-up Lessons

Which Arsenal players are most likely to avoid rotation during season run-in?

Ahead of an expected rush of Wildcards in Gameweek 31, Anna Woodberry analyses which players stand the best chance of beating Mikel Arteta’s rotation policy at Arsenal.


Arsenal sit second of our Season Ticker over the next five Gameweeks when clubs are sorted by ease of fixture. Mikel Arteta’s side face the four bottom Premier League clubs over this period, with a tough home match against Everton sandwiched in the middle.

For Fantasy Premier League managers on their Wildcard, or those looking to maximise their transfer(s) this Gameweek, these fixtures could yield good returns.

That said, Arsenal’s form this season and their quarter-final matches against Slavia Prague must be considered when choosing which assets to go for. 

We have weighed up their credentials in this latest article by considering recent performances as well as investigating which players are the most likely to play consistent minutes in the Premier League between now and Gameweek 38.

Arsenal have not impressed as many would have expected during Arteta’s reign. The Gunners had a particularly poor start to the league and found themselves languishing in fifteenth place after eleven Premier League matches. However, Arteta has managed to pull them back up during the second half of the season, where they are now flittering between ninth and eleventh position.

Source: Wikipedia

This is in spite of a tough run of fixtures in their last ten games, which saw them play both Manchester clubs, Leicester City, Tottenham, West Ham and Liverpool. They picked up 12 points from a possible 30 from these matches: winning three, drawing three and losing four. 

Yet they only managed one clean sheet during this period (and have zero in their last six) while conceding 15 goals in total, six of which came in their last two matches against West Ham and Liverpool. 

On the flip side, though they only netted 14 goals during the same period, the team scored two or more goals in four of the ten games and are in the top five for goals scored over the past six matches. Given that their upcoming fixtures are against bottom-half clubs with poorer defensive records, this is something FPL managers will be hoping Arsenal could replicate over the next few Gameweeks.

EUROPEAN DISTRACTION

Who has the best and worst upcoming FPL fixtures? 14

The biggest headache for FPL managers, however, will be factoring in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign. Their quarter-final first leg against Slavia Prague takes place on Thursday evening, three days before their Gameweek 31 match against Sheffield United. Meanwhile, the second leg is scheduled for the following week, in between Gameweek 31 and Gameweek 32 (Fulham). 

If they get through this quarter-final, the semi-final fixtures are pencilled to take place in and around their Gameweek 34 and 35 matches against Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion, meaning the Gunners are facing the prospect of nine games in 30 days. So, while Arsenal are playing the four bottom Premier League teams, this is happening in amongst their European campaign, raising concerns over how much Arteta might rotate his squad to cope with this demand.

This concern is increased when considering which competition the Spaniard might favour going into the final part of the season as the Europa League arguably represents the best chance for the club to make it into the Champions League next season.

The Gunners are ten points off fourth place with eight Premier League matches to go but are battling a host of rivals to get there. Aston Villa, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are all above Arteta’s team, so the odds are stacked against them to win a European qualifying spot through domestic channels.

This could have ramifications for Arteta’s team selection in the Premier League over the next few Gameweeks. He utilised fringe players in the group stages of the Europa League, keeping his main stars – Kieran Tierney (£5.3m), Alexandre Lacazette (£8.2m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m) – for the league. This may change now we are reaching the latter stages of the competition, especially if this is Arsenal’s best chance of playing in Europe next year. 

TIME FOR THE ‘BIG GUNS’

If we compare the Arsenal players’ minutes for the group-stage and knock-out matches of the Europa League this season, we can already see a shift towards the more experienced group. 14 players – Bernd Leno (£5.0m), Tierney, Hector Bellerin (£5.0m), Gabriel (£4.9m), David Luiz (£5.4m), Thomas Partey (£4.9m), Martin Odegaard (£6.0m), Dani Ceballos (£4.7m), Granit Xhaka (£5.2m), Emile Smith Rowe (£4.2m), Bukayo Saka (£5.2m), Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli (£4.9m) and Willian (£7.5m) – have all featured more in the knock-out stages than they did during the group matches.

This is also reflected when looking at the starting line-ups. Leno, Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel, Xhaka and Aubameyang have started all four knock-out games so far, with Tierney, Ceballos, Saka, Odegaard and Smith Rowe starting three. Therefore, we would expect Arteta to turn to these players again for the two legs against Slavia Prague. 

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE

The issue this poses for FPL managers is whether these players will feature in the Premier League games either side of those quarter-final matches. Though hard to predict, we can see which players started a high number of league games in and around the Round of 32 and Round of 16 matches against Benfica and Olympiacos in February and March. 

Leno, David Luiz, Tierney, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard and Aubameyang were the only players to start four or more games in the league, suggesting they would be the best bets to play against Sheffield United and Fulham. In contrast, stalwarts Bellerin and Gabriel only started two games each, so might see their league minutes similarly restricted if they play on Thursday.

However, injuries could change this completely. David Luiz looks set to miss the next couple weeks after undergoing knee surgery, leaving Gabriel (£4.9m) to shoulder the principal centre-back burden. In his absence, Arteta could turn to either Rob Holding (£4.2m) and/or Pablo Marí (£4.4m) to partner Gabriel in the Europa League and Premier League games. Both are budget-value defenders who could easily fill the fourth or fifth spots in any FPL team.

In addition, Arsenal fear that Tierney could be ruled out for a similar period to Luiz after limping off in the first half against Liverpool in Gameweek 30. If true, this leaves Cedric Soares (£4.6m) and Saka as the Gunners’ left-back options since Sead Kolasinac went on loan to Schalke in January. With this uncertainty, it means Leno is probably the most reliable way into Arsenal’s defence.   

In terms of midfield and attack though, Odegaard and Aubameyang are the safest picks, but whether they represent the best value for money compared to other players in those price brackets remains to be seen. They could be good differential picks if they start though.

For FPL managers feeling a bit risky, Nicolas Pépé (£7.6m) and Eddie Nketiah (£5.4m) were frequently used in the group stages of the Europa League to give the more established players rest. Arteta could utilise the two again but in the league this time, especially if the tie against Slavia Prague is still close after the first leg.

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships and monthly subscriptions are now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

941 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FPL Kaka
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Who is more likley to start this weekend?

    A) KDB

    B) Sterling

    C) Kun

    1. Cheeto__Bandito
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 14 days ago

      A benched so B

    2. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Most likely probably Kun

    3. DBossman_2000
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      C

  2. Cheeto__Bandito
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Who scores most?

    A) Jota -4
    B) Raphinha
    C) Watkins

  3. Tosa86
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Salah or jota to replace kdb?

  4. Laytor
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Playing my wildcard
    Any advice welcome!!

    Edersen / Forster
    Stones / Cody / Shaw / Rudiger / Philips
    Salah / Lingard / Fernandes / Maddison / Son
    Kane / Antonio / Davis

    1. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Antonio is injured currently. Would avoid Stones due to rotation.

      1. Laytor
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Okay thanks, do you think Antonio to Iheanacho? Maybe Stones to Dias?

        1. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          I like those moves. Since you have Ederson already I think I would opt for a defender of another team. Feel even Dias could get rotated now the league is 95% won

        2. Alcapaul
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          5 months, 14 days ago

          I'd do those moves and swap Ederson to Mendy

          1. JuJuGuru
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            5 months, 14 days ago

            You have no GW33 goalkeeper.

  5. Jrot94
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Just missing TAA, but like the look of this one...exact money for this, light on defense but time for some fun right?

    Leno Forster
    Shaw Rudiger Coady holding Phillips
    Salah. Bruno. Son jota Lingard
    Kane vardy (fodder)

    1. NoThomasNoPartey18
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Yess same team as me except for mendy. You could get azpi + taa + nacho instead of vardy, Phillips, and coady/shaw. Did a poll on here and people seemed to prefer that option but I like ours more. Taa hasnt convinced me. Only thing to look out for is that chambers and zouma could rotate for Rudi and holdini so GW33 isn't decidedly safe. Any ideas for that? Don't wanna sell kane or son.

      1. Jrot94
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        I’m just nervous about nacho’s game time with the midfield coming back, but I’m sure we’ll get that wrong. Glad I have one person with me.

        I’m leaning towards selling son that week for an in-form Leicester MF (or grealish). Would want one playing bench player at least these days.

        Like mendy over Leno but don’t have the cash

  6. Mweene
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Anyone else planning their wildcard around bench boosting in gw32?

    Good fixtures for wolves, Leicester, United, Chelsea, west ham etc

    1. Mweene
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Oh and a double for spurs

    2. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Wildcarding, possibly for TC GW32 but just used BB.

  7. ExpressoMySonny
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Is there any news on when jiminez will be back?

    1. Biggsy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I think the FPL Spy Twitter bot picked up that he transferred himself into his FPL team. So this weekend probably

      (not actually, think he's a long way off)

  8. DV8R
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Is it too dangerous to go without Salah on WC? At his price tag, it would mean having a less balanced team. I just have Jota at the moment.

    1. Herman Toothrot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Woul be a dv8tion from the template thats for sure.

      I'll see myself out.

      Post some drafts

    2. Biggsy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      You can have a plan.

      Personally, the idea of WC with Son -> Salah in 33 appeals atm

    3. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      No. I sold him for Jota. Will finalise WC after all Euro games.

  9. Iceball
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Alonso captain vs Crystal Palace?

  10. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Aguero or Jesus for a mad captain punt at the weekend?

  11. Flynny
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Who is the better option for next few weeks please?

    A.....lingard (mixed fixtures and surely can't keep up this run)

    B....neto (great fixtures)

    Can only have 1 on wildcard. Thanks

    1. Herman Toothrot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      You posted justifications for going without Bruno earlier. Same can apply here, Lingard will be much less of a differential than Neto I imagine. Neto is cheaper too

    2. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I think I speak for the majority here when I say A is the clear winner at this moment in time

    3. Tinkermania
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      A

      1. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Cheers

    4. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      The one smashing the double digit scores

  12. Lignja
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Would you sell Antonio on Wc before he drop? Would cash in 0.1m on him

    1. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Yes, seems to have hammy problems again

      1. Lignja
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Thanks

    2. No Kane No Gain
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Yes and maybe play safe and buy someone who plays twice at some point like Watkins DCL or ings

  13. Bobby Digital
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Best forward for max 11m... Got Kane.

    1. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Iheanacho

    2. Duke Silver ☑
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Vardy with Leicester's fixtures.

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Not party. 10m is too much

    3. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Ings.

  14. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    I don't recall this huge fixtures swing in 5 years or so. Should have saved the WC for little bit more

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Recency bias

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Maybe but I don't recall so many teams having so amazing fixtures

        Arsenal
        Liverpool
        Leicester
        Wolves
        Chelsea
        City
        Spurs

        Especially those first for blew my mind

        1. JBG
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          Wouldn't be that upset about not having Arsenal or Wolves players tbh.

  15. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Anyone has considered how much brain power we waste (spend) on fpl ?

    Does that means that we deteriorate other areas of our lives ?

    1. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Hah, I see it as a hobby more than anything else.

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        But even when you lie to rest you tinker your team. Especially those of us who are the addicts

        1. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          Yeah, it can get overwhelming at times. I usually tinker that much only when on wildcard or when the game opens. Making 'normal' transfer decisions after all the pressers helps!

    2. janowsc
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I mean it’s all relative. Most people watch way too much television...

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        I presume is better then TV. At least you analyze some stats you do some critical thinking

    3. FPL_Motty
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Indeed. But I ain't got much else going on in my life right now mate! xD

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Well said. But maybe if distraction didn't happen we would excel in other areas of our lives. Don't know, just thinking loud

        1. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          Nah. It's a lovely distraction. Nice to have an interest watching games too without betting on them.

    4. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      My kids asked me why I don't know that the hummingbird feeds off nectar flowers. I told them to ask me who the Brighton defenders for around 4.5m are. Priorities!

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Hahaha. Good one. Go Dawson btw

  16. FPL Kaka
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Do we really think Sterling is going to get benched again against Leeds? A perfect opportunity to regain his confidence

    1. No Kane No Gain
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I think he will play for sure but I prefer the gundogan option lol

    2. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Your guess is as good as mine.

    3. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Ferran Kun Jesus upfront Sterling benched

      Rodri rested too Gundo starts imo

    4. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Hard to predict a Pep 11 but if he needs a game to regain confidence signs aren't good for him.

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        I would not be surprised to see Sterling being sold for Grealish

        1. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          I think that's an upgrade alright.

  17. La Roja
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Chances of KDB getting benched this weekend?

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      High

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Thinking ship him salah tbh

    2. Tinkermania
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Very high!

    3. Duke Silver ☑
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Extremely high 😉

  18. RedWolf
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Which order should I have my bench?

    Bamford, Watkins, Coufal in that order?

  19. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Iheanacho nailed for rest of the season?

    1. La Roja
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Nope, Maddison is back

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        He'll go back to bench imo and get camoes and starts now and then

    2. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Not many are certainly at that price. Weird question.. But I think he will play a lot, the easy fixtures for Lei also point towards two strikers for Brendan. When Barnes is back in weeks he will have to be monitored

    3. dunas_dog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Until Barnes is back so for a few weeks I think nailed. I would not read anything into sub during City game which was tactical- Maddison will start ahead of Pérez

  20. Iceball
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Mendy Meslier
    Dias Alonso Digne Coufal Veltman
    Bruno Gundo Bale Raphinha Lingard
    Kane DCL Bamford
    Would you WC that or just Bale to Jota? (Son for Gundo GW32)

  21. Fit_to_drop
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Is opting for Laporte over Dias on Wildcard trying to play Pep at his own game? Of course, Pep wins.

    1. MikeS
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I wouldn't

    2. dunas_dog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I wouldn’t- just have decent bench cover for Dias this week if required

  22. Voodoo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Do you think Jota will continue to play central?

    Wondering which is better, Aubameyang to Salah or Raphinha to Jota?

  23. The Red Devil
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    A- Bale to jota
    B- Bale to Salah
    C- Bale+Bamford to Salah + vydra
    D- Bale + Raphinha+ DCL to Salah+jota+vydra (-4)

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      A

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Or d

    2. MikeS
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I did a

  24. fr3d
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Anyone in here keeping Gündo?

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Me. Leeds game has a high upside so will give him chance

      1. fr3d
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        Not looking good for a start does it?

        1. No Kane No Gain
          • 2 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          Why not. Only play 1 90 mins this week and Tuesday - Saturday - Wednesday is fine to play all 3 for gundo.

    2. mr messi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Might keep him this week and swap for Son the week after

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        I think he'll play and kdb will get a rest

  25. Ohh1454
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Is gw35 going to a be a big enough double week ?

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      I am BB

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        That week

        1. Ohh1454
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 14 days ago

          Original plan was free hit 33 but reconsidering now

    2. MikeS
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      When will we know he has doubles?

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 14 days ago

        From now and gw34

  26. MikeS
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    WC:

    A. Now
    B. Save

    Martinez-(areola)
    Dias-shaw-cresswell-(dunk-dallas)
    Jota-bruno-son-lingaard-raphina
    Kane-dcl-(bandied)

    Gut and head says don't WC and save for gw 33, but could also be an opportunity to change it up to make gains in my mini league?

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      A

  27. dshv
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    On wc..

    A. Dias or shaw
    B. Maddison or neto (if maddi then iheanacho to who?)

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Shaw and Maddison.
      Ings if you have enough. Bamford, Watkins.

  28. FPL Kaka
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Digne (c)

    Week for a differential captain I feel

    1. fr3d
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Bad pick, even for a differential

    2. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Gone for a hit

  29. Champions League Varane
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Thoughts on Gundo and Antonio to Kelechi and Jota -4? With exact cash. Antonio news sounds promising and Gundo has Leeds? Have Dias and Stones also but surely atleast 1 of them will start?

  30. Igz08
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 14 days ago

    Christensen vs Rudiger ?

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 14 days ago

      Rudiger.